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July 28, 2011

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Rash of 'exploding glass' prompts examination

THE rash of "glass-exploding" incidents spurred local government to kick off a campaign yesterday to check the safety of structures built with glass materials.

Shen Jun, Shanghai's vice mayor in charge of construction, urged property owners and management firms to launch inspections on the glass exteriors of buildings and fix any problems.

The current summer heat increases the risk of glass cracks or aging glass falling from high-rise buildings, officials said.

A pane of glass on the 20th floor in an office building on Longhua Road E. shattered and thousands of pieces fell, destroying a canopy on the ground floor about 8am yesterday.

The glass exterior of the 29th floor of a building on Caoyang Road burst and fell "like rain" to a nearby snack bar on Tuesday, startling diners inside.

Earlier this month, two glass doors at the Hongqiao Railway Station's western entrance gate exploded four days apart.

Shanghai has 4,000 to 5,000 buildings with glass-clad walls. Many high-rise developers fail to perform safety checks on their windows because they are not legally required to.

The city is now planning to introduce laws about the design and maintenance of glass construction materials.


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